maandag 17 oktober 2016

(Not) Doing Stuff....

Heh, my previous post was letting you know I hadn't fallen off the edge of the Earth, and then I go silent for weeks... Sorry, folks!

Anyway, this will be a bit of a non-gaming post. Not entirely unexpectedly, the Muse has still been very erratic and absent for extended periods. At least as far as miniature stuff goes.

You see, this year I've decided to not be just a desk-jockey for the rest of my life, but also do something that I find rewarding and of lasting value on a personal level. To achieve this, I've started on a course for fine woodworking/furniture making. I've always liked wood and wooden articles, and have a life-long urge to make things (hence the wargaming/modelling, occasional bookbinding or other cockamamie project). Where this will go, I'm still undecided, maybe it will be a self-funding hobby, side job or maybe, if I get really lucky, a full time job?  But what creative urge there has been the last few weeks, has often been channeled into woodworking instead of wargaming, especially now that I have a little workspace in the garage.  I'll post some of the stuff I've been working on at the end of this post.

Also, I'm preparing to start a new (temporary) job soon, which means I need to renew certain certifications, leading to lots of studying in the last few days and coming week or two. Once I get that certification, I can start and will spend several weeks of on-the-job training and then a couple of months of certainly busy and probably erratic work. Which also means less or at least, less predictable, time for my various hobbies. On the other hand, all the activity at work may also just re-energize the old mojo-generator, who knows?

Oh, here's those pics of my first few projects I promised:

An Ash shop mallet, the final workpiece of the starter course. It this picture it hasn't had all the plugs and wedges sawn off yet. It has since been cleaned up and oiled and now serves as an excellent half-kilo of "persuasion". :D

A meditation bench for my wife. From a non-descript softwood that was a bit unpleasant to work with (Sold as "Scaffolding board", which is a DIY-by-the-numbers fashion item for making rough and ready screw-together furniture, not actually wood sturdy enough to use for scaffolding...). 
It's made to tilt and rock back to front, allowing the user to find the optimal angle of the seat and also forcing one to actively keep ones balance, leading to better posture during meditation. This was my first "solo" project, outside of the course. Made some mistakes (including one that cracked the wood on the legs), but learnt a lot. And the misses really appreciates getting/having it.

Solo project number two, a larch drawer/box. I made it mainly as an excuse to practice making dovetails, and contains my first dovetail joints ever. I'm happy with how neat they are for a first attempt. As that went well, I chose to take a risk and put a decorative butterfly key in the front side, made from oak. It still needs its surface finishing. Currently I'm using it as a sort of tool-tote around the (tiny) workshop. You can see the finished Ash mallet in the background.

What's up next? As money has been tight, a trip to the lumber yard has been out of the question, so I've had to beg and scrounge for my wood. So far this has netted a nice thin plank of walnut and a similar plank of hard maple, which I consider myself very lucky to get as a gift. I will be using these to make a christmas present for my wife. A friend said he had a hardwood pallet (which turned out to be beech, which surprised me). When I came to collect it, he had another surprise for me:
 A disc of Oak! (FYI, I don't have small feet... my shoes are literally a foot long. So you can estimate the size of that disc.)
I'll need to find a way to smooth it and get it to a uniform thickness. The crack in the left side will need to get butterfly keys to stabilise and strengthen it. (It's a total coincidence I chose to try making one in the larch box just a week or two before, but I'm happy I did!) I'm thinking of using the beech from the pallet to make a frame/legs for this slab and turn the whole set of gift wood into a side table. I won't be able to retain the bark, as it has already started to separate in too many places, but it will still end up an interesting shape. There's a wedge of oak to the left of the disk. Once I find suitable wood for legs, this may become a small stool, or if sufficient wood emerges, a taller shop stool to use when doing fine work at the workbench.
I've also been offered the off-cuts/leftovers of some furniture grade pine, but those will have to wait until the owner of the wood finishes his own project first. So no pre-made plans for those.

See you next time!

donderdag 22 september 2016

I'm not dead yet!

Well, I'm not...

As you may have noticed from the absense of posts on this blog, my Muse has been absent again. And I've fallen off the Man O'War train (for now...). Focus and interest is all over the place, flitting from one idea/project to the next, often even before I could get the first project out of the cupboard. Dreadfully annoying...

What little dollops of Painting Mojo I did manage to scrounge up have been spent on an attempt to paint the next three members of my Void Crows salvage crew:
From left to right you can see Sassy Girl, Old Savant and Big Brute (not the final names by a long stretch, but I need something with which to identify them to you). In the above pic, the undersuits are done and the hard shell of the void suit has been given its basecoat and wash. Highlighting will most like occur when next the Muse visits.

Today some bits arrived, which mean I can proceed with a few conversions that have been in the pipeline for a while.

First, two heavy weapons for my Genestealer Cult/1st Ed Space Hulk Hybrid blip list.
Unexpectedly current, I've been wanting to do these conversions ever since Deathwatch: Overkill hit the stores. And I've needed Genestealer Hybrid miniatures armed like this ever since I started my 3D Space Hulk Project, years ago...
Both minis are based on the Genestealer Hybrid with mining laser from the Deathwatch: Overkill box. The left one is toting an Autocannon, from the Imperial Guard Sentinel kit. The right is carrying a Conversion Beamer that came from a miscast I got in a trade. The Autocannoneer still needs a replacement backpack, preferably with some extra ammo. The Conversion Beamer Operator needs some fix-ups on the Conversion Beamer itself, but is otherwise good to go. Both still need bases, obviously.

The bits arrival also meant I can now proceed to build my own version of a certain Underhiver of Renown:
Yup, Bull Gorg, Pit Slave hero, the now classic Nurgle Lord conversion. Many have gone before me in this particular conversion, but I get to call this one all my own. :)

And, as it seems mandatory since the release of the September White Dwarf, my conversion of the freebie Slaughterpriest:
Around when the new White Dwarf hit, I was re-reading Dan Abnetts Pariah novel, which featured "Warblind": Heavily augmented and modified berserker soldiers, intimidating giants, relics of bygone wars that were left incapable of even contemplating peace or normal life, processing the world only in terms of combat and violence. In the novel these Warblind were segregated in closed-off streets where they formed violent, tribal gangs, with unaugmented, war-traumatised and feral soldiers unable to adapt to civilian life serving as their underlings and foottroops. Almost a feudal structure, if you look past the ultraviolence...
The whole terror and pathos of these figures inspired me to start this conversion. My plan is to make the left arm a combat augmetic, maybe that Ork Nob buzzsaw arm? The right arm will have the cleaver replaced with some sort of pistol. The leg armour will maybe get pistons and such added. Perhaps, if I like how he turns out, I might make a little Warblind gang for Inq28/=I=Munda? Ofcourse, he could also function perfectly as an extra-beefy Pit Slave chief.

I've also been ripping through my Oyumaru this week. I've been taking moulds of certain details from the one Cities of Death building I have, to use in making Necromunda and Space Hulk terrain (hopefully soon).
I've done the same with some resin bases, as I need bases with the same detail and style as my resin ones, but in a size the seller doesn't provide. The first batch of casts is curing as I type.

See you next time!

Edit: The 2016 Genestealer Cult has now been officially revealed. On a personal note I am absolutely stoked to see a 2 page art spread featuring Genestealer Cult battling Howling Griffons Space Marines in the preview of the hardback codex! Nice to see my beloved Battenberg Marines in action against my favorite xenos-worshipping scum.

dinsdag 30 augustus 2016

the Shire Defense Force mobilises!

Today, my first package of the Westfalia Miniatures Halfmen Kickstarter arrived, and they are glorious:

Tomorrow a second package should follow, containing the last few miniatures, and then I should have everything in my hands.
I had a quick look at them, and once again Westfalia Miniatures really impresses. (They already went well above and beyond coordinating with me to make sure my miniatures wouldn't arrive when I was away from home.)

Their choice in resin is excellent, it's light and takes detail very well, transferring every detail of the absolutely marvellous sculpts, while being ever so slightly flexible, which is great boon to actual wargaming use for this miniatures.
The casting is virtually flawless, with barely any mouldlines and little excess resin to deal with. (The only flaw I could find after checking every single miniature, was a slight misalignment of the mould on the visor of one my Goat Knights. Nothing a stroke with a file and maybe a dot of putty won't fix. Which for working with resin, and the sheer amount of miniatures I got, is so minor an issue it doesn't even properly count.) There are the usual slight bent spears and such that are part and parcel of resin minis, but even those are few and far between. And knowing Westfalia, all their shipments are to this standard of quality. They're just gobsmackingly amazingly good and very, very dedicated.

The sculpting is just exquisite and very, very clean. These will be an absolute joy to paint up.
I'd better start clearing my hobby table... :)

Hopefully they'll make their way to the Westfalia Miniatures online store, as I can certainly see myself expanding the collection.

So, what are my plans for these? Well, they'll get fed into the greater Dungeoneering/Chivalry/Fantasy monster project. I think they'll get divvied up into groups of a single Knight and his/her retinue, similarly to what I did with my Bretonnians. And mayble I'll cherrypick a few of them to accompany a Halfling Wizard to raid the kitchens and pantries of Frostgrave for frozen treats...

See you next time!

Edit: I feel these might come in handy at the painting stage... ;)
Food in Heraldry
The Wiki on food in heraldry

dinsdag 23 augustus 2016

The first part of the fleet is complete:
A squadron of Monitors, accompanied by a Nautilus, as well as its submerged marker.
A close up of the flags:
The frontmost symbol on the banners of the Monitors is the icon of Barak Varr, the dwarven coastal hold (or at least, as well as I can reproduce it on a 5x5mm area...):

Behind it is the symbol for their position within the squadron, a rune, a hammer and a battleaxe respectively. These are nods to the symbols on the original paper flags that came with the Monitors. The second squadron will have banners with red fields and white symbols.

The Nautilus has a Norse style Raven and a rune to mark it (as the Nautilii are essentially "lone wolves", my plan is to give each one a norse style animal symbol on their banner (one again, as best as I can render it in tiny, tiny format!)

Additionally each vessel has a runic symbol on its hull, in case the banners aren't clearly visible for some reason.

First step taken, on to the next batch!

See you next time.

donderdag 18 augustus 2016

The tide is high,

...but I'm painting on. ;)

I had some time to paint today, so I decided to tackle the bases for the entire fleet at once. Get that out of the way.

Here they are, now that the wash is drying:
Once the wash is dry, I can do the final two drybrushes, and the bases are done (except for the gloss varnish they'll get after the minis are completely painted, that is).
After that, I'll start dividing the fleet in squadrons and paint each in turn, alternating with wreck markers or individual ships for variety.

See you next time!

woensdag 10 augustus 2016

Fleet muster

Whoo, the basing is all done!

Here it all is:

Primer and paint to follow when I have time... Which, to be honest, can't be soon enough for me!

See you next time!

dinsdag 9 augustus 2016

Under the sea

And another step closer:
The four Debris markers are based and ready for primer.

It's hard to see in the pictures but in the waves are some small plasticard offcuts to represent various debris as well as some pieces of plastic rod, to be painted as floating barrels. ("All that Bugman's, lost to the sea. This is going in the Book of Grudges!") The green stuff parts are cut up casts of Dwarven ships, the ones that didn't reproduce good enough to be used for the Wreckage and Submerged markers. Waste not, want not and all that... I sculpted the sea between the debris to look foamy and agitated from the air rising from the already submerged parts of the sunk ships.

Getting close to finishing the bases on this fleet, and getting excited to paint them! Sadly, the next couple of weeks are shaping up to busy ones, but I'm hopeful I can steal away the occasional hour here and there to work on these.

See you next time!